Sierra Applied Sciences


Sierra Applied Sciences



Sierra’s round cathodes range from 2″ to 12″ with internal or flange mountings. You can also opt for our proprietary internal process gas manifold to enhance cathode performance. Because it mounts outside the coating zone, the manifold further reduces maintenance and evenly distributes process gas across the surface of the target.

Shown here are 2″ to 8″ cathodes some with eroded targets. The 6″ and 8″ cathodes are configured for internal mounting. The 7″ is configured for flange mounting.

Target Utilization

Target utilization and life are two important factors in choosing a magnetron cathode. The table below shows typical target erosion results for many of our cathode designs. We base our measurements on “useable” target utilization and on standard “burn-through” target utilization. However, the best way to verify utilization of a target is to look at the used targets.

Results are for aluminum targets, most eroded at 3 mTorr Argon at 9KW.

**We use two methods to calculate target utilization: Method A: % weight lost. Method B: % weight lost * target thickness / groove depth. Method A is useful for processes that use targets without backing plates, while method B is used when a backing plate is present, allowing erosion through the full target thickness.